Boston Marathon Countdown, Weeks 13-11: Time To Race

marrow of running boston marathon countdown weeks 13-11

I’m playing a little bit of catch up on the blog here, but also trying to provide some variety. It’s hard to look back and summarize the import of each of the past few weeks, while also looking forward to my first big race in this Boston Marathon Countdown. The Kaiser San Francisco Half Marathon will be the only race I’ve done so far in my marathon training cycle. It might be my only race before Boston. The intention was that if I were feeling good with early training that I would try to nail this race. Well, I’ve felt good with training, and here we are.

My Training Leading into the Kaiser SF Half

This post is mostly for the runner geeks out there. As I look forward to Sunday’s race, I think it’s a good idea to review what I’ve actually done in order to make a realistic goal for myself. I recommend that all runners do so, especially when approaching an unfamiliar race or distance. The Kaiser SF Half will be my debut half marathon. Here are my past 4 weeks of training.

Week 14 to go: 78 miles total

1/2 M: AM 4 miles very easy; PM light core work, sauna

1/3 Tu: rain, 11 miles on treadmill, fartlek 10x 2:00 @ 5:30/mile or faster (on) 1:00 @ 7:50/mile (off)

1/4 W: AM 4 easy; PM 3 easy in rain (stomach bad)

1/5 Th: AM 15.3 miles w/40 min Lactate Threshold (5:45, 5:49, 5:52, 5:45, 5:51, 5:41… more than 6.75 miles for threshold); PM 2 miles on treadmill, core and strength exercises

1/6 F: AM 7.25 miles, PM 3.5 miles

1/7 Sa: 20 miles easy-moderate

1/8 Su: 10 miles easy

Week 13 to go: 60 miles total

1/9 M: AM 4 miles very easy

1/10 Tu: rain, 7 miles on treadmill

1/11 W: PM 12 miles w/7x alternations .5 mile below goal half marathon pace/.5 mile @ goal marathon pace (2:50/3:05, 2:50/3:02, 2:52/3:03, 2:52/3:05, 2:49/3:04, 2:47/3:03, 2:51/3:01, rain and wind on last rep); core and strength

1/12 Th: 8 miles easy

1/13 F: AM 9 miles, 20 minutes diagonals

1/14 Sa: 16 miles, progression over last 3 miles (7:00/mile average, then 6:00, 5:44, stopped w/upset stomach)

1/15 Su: 4 miles easy; core and strength

Week 12 to go: 76 miles total

1/16 M: AM 8 miles easy

1/17 Tu: PM 15 miles w/ 6x downhill/uphill miles w/90 seconds recovery (5:21, 5:46, 5:13, 5:44, 5:20, 5:45)

1/18 W: AM 10 miles easy-moderate

1/19 Th: 6 miles easy

1/20 F: PM 12 miles w/30 minutes Lactate Threshold (5:35, 5:35, 6:11 headwind, 6:06 headwind, 5:31), 4x hill sprints; core and strength

1/21 Sa: 8 miles easy

1/22 Su: 17 miles; core later

Week 11 to go: 68 miles total

1/23 M: AM 3 miles very easy

1/24 Tu: PM 11 miles w/ 6x 1/4 mile hill repeats w/ jog down recovery (83 seconds, 82, 78, 79, 77, 74), 2 miles @ goal half marathon pace (5:40, 5:45)

1/25 W: AM 10 miles easy

1/26 Th: AM 16 miles w/ 4 miles @ goal half marathon pace (5:47, 5:43, 5:44, 5:41), .5 mile jog to Kezar track, 4 miles @ goal half marathon pace (5:46, 5:44, 5:43, 5:29); PM 2 miles on treadmill, core and strength

1/27 F: AM 6 miles easy

1/28 Sa: 15 miles, first half on dirt, second half on pavement at 6:30/mile while practicing taking fluids

1/29 Su: 7 miles easy; core and strength

My Goals for SF Half, then Boston Marathon Countdown

I always used to think how fun it’d be to debut at the half at 1:15 or faster, based on numerous 40 minute LT runs I’ve done over the years. 1:15 in the half marathon requires about a 5:43/mile pace. So, that’s what I’m going to start at this Sunday, and we’ll see if I can hold it for 13.1

The course is net downhill but has an uphill finish. There is also the wildcard of having more hemoglobin in me by race day. Regardless, my main goal is to race, run hard within myself, challenge myself and see what happens.

After the half, I’ll take an easy week and then hit marathon pace training for the rest of my Boston Marathon Countdown, which hopefully will feel like a breeze compared to half marathon pace. How’s your spring marathon training going? Which half are you targeting?

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